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Panasonic goes catalytic in recycling bid

Posted: 28 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:recycling? catalytic technology? metals recovery?

There is no stopping the green movement.

Panasonic, together with Kusatsu Electric Co. Ltd, has developed a recycling technology that enables the recovery of metals from plastic-coated wires and plastics used in electric and electronic equipment without causing hazardous side effects. Using the catalytic properties of titanium oxide (TiO2), the technology facilitates recovery of inorganic substances such as metals by transforming organic substances such as plastics into harmless gases.

The new recycling method combines Kusatsu Electric's non-incineration plastic disposal technology using TiO2 and Panasonic's high-grade materials recovery technology that is used by Panasonic to recycle old home appliances. The method uses unique mixing and carrier systems that allow plastics to contact the catalyst efficiently for gasification, leaving the valuable metals. As the catalytic reaction of TiO2 generates heat to promote gasification, an additional heating source is not required in the process. The method uses cooling water to maintain temperature (500C) for optimal catalytic reaction. The subsequent heated water from the process can be used for other purposes. Hydrogen chloride produced during the gasification process of vinyl chloride is neutralized with lime.

Panasonic is using the new technology at the Matsushita Eco Technology Center (METEC) to recover copper from degaussing coils covered with vinyl chloride tape found in CRT TVs. In addition, mixed plastic waste destined for incineration or landfill is treated and changed into non-toxic gases at METEC. The method not only contributes to "zero waste," but also helps reduce CO2 emissions as little external energy source is required in the gasification process.

Panasonic aims to completely eliminate mixed plastic waste and spread the use of this technology to recycling-related facilities and further to production facilities in and out of the Panasonic group.




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